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A SBNation Community about Minor League Baseball, Rookies, and Prospects



Updated: 2016-12-07T18:21:44-05:00

 



White Sox trade Adam Eaton to Nationals for pitching prospects Lucas Giolito, Reynaldo Lopez, and Dane Dunning

2016-12-07T18:21:44-05:00

On Wednesday afternoon the Washington Nationals acquired the outfielder they were looking for: Chicago White Sox flycatcher Adam Eaton. But the price was high: three premium pitching prospects, right-handers Lucas Giolito, Reynaldo Lopez, and Dane Dunning. Let's take a look.Dane Dunning, RHP: Dunning is the least-known of the trio but has plenty of talent. Drafted in the first round this past June from the University of Florida, Dunning pitched 79 innings for the Gators during the spring, making five starts and 28 relief outings, posting a 2.29 ERA with an 88/12 K/BB with 68 hits allowed. In pro ball he posted 2.14 ERA in 34 innings in the New York-Penn League with a 29/7 K/BB.Dunning is a 6-4, 200 pound right-hander born December 20, 1994. The 21 year old features a sinking fastball at 90-94 MPH with peaks at 95-96, along with a very good change-up. His slider is inconsistent and needs more work, but with further refinement should be at least workable. He throws strikes most of the time and projects as a workhorse starter, though if he returns to the bullpen at some point he could be quite dominant. He rates as a Grade B/B- prospect right now. Lucas Giolito, RHP: Drafted in the first round in 2012 from high school in California, Giolito was widely-regarded as one of the very best arms in the class but saw his stock drop due to an elbow injury. He rehabbed Tommy John successfully and has been among the very best pitching prospects in baseball the last three seasons. In 2016 he posted a 2.97 ERA in 115 innings between Low-A, Double-A, and Triple-A with a 116/44 K/BB. He made four starts and two relief appearances in the majors, posting a 6.75 ERA with an 11/12 K/BB in 21 innings, giving up 26 hits.Giolito is 6-6, 255, born July 14, 1994. Although he entered 2016 as the top pitching prospect in baseball according to most observers, his poor major league performance has led to questions, not so much due to the weak stats, but more due to the radar gun: he topped out at 95 in the majors and averaged 93, well down from the 95-100 MPH readings reported in the minors. His curveball is excellent when it is on and his change-up can be at least average, but command and control of all his pitches were disappointing in his first look. The decline in fastball velocity and strikeout rate is worrisome, but given his overall track record and youth, Giolito remains a highly intriguing asset. He could still develop into an ace and rates as a Grade A-, but his stock dropped just enough to move him out of the untouchable prospect category. Reynaldo Lopez, RHP: The Nationals signed Lopez out of the Dominican Republic in 2012, giving him a small $17,000 bonus. That's turned out to be a terrific bargain given his development. He posted a 3.21 ERA in 121 innings between Double-A and Triple-A in 2016, with a 126/35 K/BB and just 90 hits allowed. He earned six starts and five relief outings in the majors, posting a 4.91 ERA with a 42/22 K/BB in 44 innings, but retains rookie eligibility for 2017. Lopez is listed at 6-0, 185, born January 4, 1994. He actually throws harder than Giolito at this point, averaging 96 MPH in the majors with peaks at 99. His curveball is a plus pitch, while the change-up varies between below-average and solid depending on the day. He did a decent job with his control in the minors but still needs additional command polish within the strike zone, mainly due to mechanical inconsistency. It remains uncertain if he starts or relieves in the long run, but looked more comfortable in the bullpen in the majors. He had an unusual reverse platoon split in the majors, limiting left-handed hitters to a .185/.291/.375 line while right-handers smashed him at .345/.415/.471. That seems like something that should be correctable given that his minor league splits were more normal. Right now he rates as a Grade B+ prospect, on the assumption that he still has a chance as a starter.Adam Eaton is one of my favorite players but this is a lot to give up for him. That doesn't mean it is wrong, of course. There is no guarantee with [...]



Washington Nationals preliminary prospect grade breakdown

2016-12-07T17:02:46-05:00

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Here is the preliminary prospect grade breakdown distribution for 43 Washington Nationals prospects, listed below.

Grade A: Zero
Grade A-: One
Grade B+: Three
Grade B: Two
Grade B-: Seven
Grade C+: 10
Grade C: 20

There is play along the A-/B+ and B+/B boundaries.

Osvaldo Abreu, INF
Telmito Agustin, OF
Yasel Antuna, SS
Joan Baez, RHP
Nick Banks, OF
Tres Barrera, C
Rafael Bautista, OF
A.J. Cole, RHP
Jimmy Cordero, RHP
Matthew Crownover, LHP
Austin Davidson, 3B
Wilmer Difo, INF
Dane Dunning, RHP
Erick Fedde, RHP
Anderson Franco, 3B
Luis Garcia, SS
Lucas Giolito, RHP
Koda Glover, RHP
Brian Goodwin, OF
Kelvin Gutierrez, 3B
Daniel Johnson, OF
Carter Kieboom, SS
Spencer Kieboom, C
Andrew Lee, RHP
Jesus Luzardo, LHP
Reynaldo Lopez, RHP
Jose Marmolejos, 1B
Sheldon Neuse, 3B
Jake Noll, 2B
Blake Perkins, OF
Raudy Read, C
Jakson Reetz, C
Mariano Rivera, JR, RHP
Victor Robles, OF
Ian Sagdal, 2B
Pedro Severino, C
Juan Soto, OF
Andrew Stevenson, OF
Armond Upshaw, OF
Austin Voth, RHP
Drew Ward, 3B
Tyler Watson, LHP
Rhett Wiseman, OF




Washington Nationals preliminary prospect list

2016-12-07T14:26:25-05:00

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Here is the working research list of 43 Washington Nationals prospects. This system is not nearly as deep as some of those we have examined to this point.

Osvaldo Abreu, INF
Telmito Agustin, OF
Yasel Antuna, SS
Joan Baez, RHP
Nick Banks, OF
Tres Barrera, C
Rafael Bautista, OF
A.J. Cole, RHP
Jimmy Cordero, RHP
Matthew Crownover, LHP
Austin Davidson, 3B
Wilmer Difo, INF
Dane Dunning, RHP
Erick Fedde, RHP
Anderson Franco, 3B
Luis Garcia, SS
Lucas Giolito, RHP
Koda Glover, RHP
Brian Goodwin, OF
Kelvin Gutierrez, 3B
Daniel Johnson, OF
Carter Kieboom, SS
Spencer Kieboom, C
Andrew Lee, RHP
Jesus Luzardo, LHP
Reynaldo Lopez, RHP
Jose Marmolejos, 1B
Sheldon Neuse, 3B
Jake Noll, 2B
Blake Perkins, OF
Raudy Read, C
Jakson Reetz, C
Mariano Rivera, JR, RHP
Victor Robles, OF
Ian Sagdal, 2B
Pedro Severino, C
Juan Soto, OF
Andrew Stevenson, OF
Armond Upshaw, OF
Austin Voth, RHP
Drew Ward, 3B
Tyler Watson, LHP
Rhett Wiseman, OF




Houston Astros organization discussion

2016-12-07T09:01:00-05:00

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Discussing the future of the Houston Astros system.

I am now working on the Washington Nationals Top 20 prospects for 2017 list. The next team in line is the Houston Astros, to be followed by the St. Louis Cardinals, Tampa Bay Rays, San Francisco Giants, Texas Rangers, Philadelphia Phillies, and the Boston Red Sox.

Use this thread to discuss the Houston Astros organization. Some points for potential discussion include, but are certainly not limited to:

***The Astros finished 84-78 in 2016, third place in the American League Western Division. For 2017, is this team a bit over .500 again? Can they get back to 90 wins or better?

***Carlos Correa is still only 22 year old. No point here, I just wanted to mention that. Cool, isn't it?

***What's Alex Bregman's slash line for 2017?

***Can George Springer take another step forward in his age 27 season? Could that make him a non-Trout MVP candidate? Or is that a step too far?

***Do you agree with the Josh Reddick contract?

***Are you comfortable with the starting rotation as is?

***I know a lot of you are on this guy, but I think Franklin Perez (assuming good health caveat) could be a Top 10 MLB pitching prospect a year from now. Agree or disagree?

***As always, feel free to discuss sleeper prospects or anything else Astros-oriented.




MLB Winter Meetings: Sale and Moncada change Sox

2016-12-06T17:00:00-05:00

While it looked like the Washington Nationals were close to obtaining the most sought after lefty of the winter, the Boston Red Sox swooped in and got Chris Sale for four prospects, including the high-profiled Yoan Moncada and Michael Kopech. Dave Dombrowski doesn’t like to keep prospects around for too long. Despite it seeming that the Washington Nationals were ready to have a Max Scherzer and Chris Sale one-two punch atop their rotation as late as last night, the Boston Red Sox swooped in and now have a frightening Big Three in their rotation. Chris Sale changes the color of his Sox and is now atop a rotation that has David Price and the 2016 Cy Young winner Rick Porcello. If you read social media right now, you will see a very unhappy Red Sox Nation. It is understandable, Moncada cost a lot of money, he never saw a Triple-A pitch and they were sold that he was going to lead the young Sox to new heights. The thing the Red Sox had that made Moncada expendable was Andrew Benintendi. If any prospect could rival the pure upside of Moncada’s, Benintendi proved it could very well be him. So the Red Sox went out and used their surplus of elite talent and got the premier lefty in the American League to pitch alongside former Cy Young-lefty Price, a deadly combo in today’s game of highly sought after left-handed talent. They now have a 27-year old under cost control on a team that is very much ready to compete now, as opposed to a team like the Braves, who would have arguably wasted some of those cost-controlled years in a rebuild. The White Sox got a juicy haul, but no matter how enticing they are, they are still prospects, which always leaves many question marks. YOAN MONCADA width="560" frameborder="0" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/6tsab9ROx0s"> (video courtesy of FanGraphs) What do I need to tell you about Moncada that you don’t already know? I saw him in Hickory as a 20-year old and he ripped his very first at bat that night off the centerfield wall. I was convinced 30 seconds into my first viewing of him that all the hype was for real. Moncada signed with the Red Sox for $31.5-million and since Boston eclipsed the international bonus pool threshold, he actually cost them double that. Here’s what our own John Sickels said about Moncada in this year’s Baseball Prospect Book: When he signed, the scouting reports said he combined speed, aggressive baserunning, power potential, and good plate discipline into one complete offensive package. Those reports were correct. They were. Despite a slow start in the Sally in his 2015 debut, he slashed .278/.380/.438 with a nice 83-to-42 strikeout-to-walk ratio. He added 19 doubles, three triples, eight home runs and was successful on 49 of 52 stolen base attempts. This past season he climbed from High-A Salem to the major leagues. He slashed .294/.407/.511 over two levels, improving his walk rate along the way. He untapped even more of his power, ripping 31 doubles, six triples and 15 home runs while stealing a bit less successful 45 of 57 stolen bases. Moncada’s biggest concerns are his glove and strikeout rate, but he has the arm and athleticism to be at least serviceable wherever it is he winds up, whether it is his natural middle infield slot, third base as he moonlighted in last season, or the outfield that many project he will one day roam. As far as the strikeout rates go, if he harnesses the offensive potential many see him capable of, it seems those rising rates are easily forgiven in today's game. Should he exhibit the plate discipline he had earlier in his career, it is even scarier to imagine what he could do. Futures Game MVP. Baseball America's Minor League Player of the Year. Simply put, Moncada has one of the best skill sets in all of the minors. MICHAEL KOPECH width="560" frameborder="0" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/NOzlPYOG_HY"> (video courtesy of 2080 Baseball) Kopech[...]



White Sox trade Chris Sale to Red Sox for prospects Yoan Moncada, Michael Kopech, Luis Alexander Basabe, Victor Diaz

2016-12-06T16:58:13-05:00

In a blockbuster trade from the 2016 MLB Winter Meetings, the Chicago White Sox traded ace starter Chris Sale to the Boston Red Sox for prospects Yoan Moncada, Michael Kopech, Luis Alexander Basabe, and Victor Diaz A massive trade between the Boston Red Sox and the Chicago White Sox dominated Day Two of the 2016 MLB Winter Meetings: left-handed ace starter Chris Sale heads east from Chicago to Boston in exchange for four prospects: infielders Yoan Moncada, outfielder Luis Alexander Basabe, and right-handed pitchers Michael Kopech and Victor Diaz.  Let's take a look at the package of prospects acquired by the White Sox. Luis Alexander Basabe, OF: Basabe is from Venezuela, signed by the Red Sox as a free agent in 2012. His twin brother, Luis Alejandro Basabe, was also signed by the Red Sox but was traded this past summer to the Arizona Diamondbacks. Luis Alexander played 105 games for Greenville in the Low-A South Atlantic League in 2016, hitting .258/.325/.447 with 12 homers, 25 steals, 40 walks, and 116 strikeouts in 403 at-bats.Basabe is a switch-hitter, age 20. Featuring 60-grade speed and an above-average throwing arm, Basabe also has wiry strength in his 6-0, 170 build and began tapping his power more often this year. His strike zone judgment is inconsistent and it remains to be seen how he will adapt to advanced breaking stuff at higher levels, but he has the tools to be a regular outfielder. His skill development will determine if those tools fully blossom but he has made some progress. He would rate as a Grade C+ prospect at this point.Victor Diaz, RHP: Diaz is a Dominican pitcher signed in December of 2014. He was 20 years old at the time, older than normal for an international player, but he quickly got noticed with a strong performance in the '15 Dominican Summer League. In 2016 he posted a 3.88 ERA in 60 innings for Greenville, saving 10 games in 12 chances with a 63/25 K/BB.Now 22 years old, Diaz is listed at 6-3 ,190 pounds. He throws very hard, 94-99 MPH with reported peaks at 100. His secondary pitches lacked definition when he signed but he has since developed a slider and a splittery change-up, both of which need more work. His command needs more polish as well, but he has plenty of power in a low-mileage arm and is an intriguing speculative play. He would be a Grade C or C+ prospect right now.Michael Kopech, RHP: A first round pick in 2014 from high school in Mount Pleasant, Texas, Kopech missed much of both the 2015 and 2016 seasons for off-the-field reasons: he was suspended after testing positive for amphetamines in '15, then broke a hand while fighting with a teammate this past season. When not dodging trouble he has few problems dodging hitters, posting a career 2.60 ERA in 135 innings with a 172/69 K/BB and just 93 hits allowed. He fanned 82 in just 52 innings in '16 in High-A.Kopech is listed at 6-3, 205 pounds, age 20. His stuff is vicious: he works at 96-98 MPH and hits 100 regularly; there are reports of even higher peak velocities. His slider and change-up can be erratic but both flash plus, and with further command refinement he could have three overpowering pitches with at least average control. He has the upside of a number one starter but will have to show that he can handle a full workload and avoid further makeup complications. At present I rate him as a strong Grade A- prospect with a chance for a straight Grade A. Yoan Moncada, INF: The Red Sox signed Moncada out of Cuba in 2015 for $31,500,000 (plus another $31,500,000 luxury tax to MLB). He has lived up to elevated expectations so far, hitting .294/.407/.511 in 2016 between High-A and Double-A with 31 doubles, 15 homers, 45 steals, and 72 walks in 405 at-bats. He went just 5-for-19 with 12 strikeouts during a brief major league trial but is universally regarded as one of the top five prospects in all of baseball. A 21-year-old switch-hitter, Moncada is listed at 6-2, 205. He has eve[...]



Brewers trade Tyler Thornburg to Red Sox for Travis Shaw, Mauricio Dubon, Josh Pennington

2016-12-06T13:50:02-05:00

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On Day Two of the 2016 MLB Winter Meetings, the Milwaukee Brewers traded pitcher Tyler Thornburg to the Boston Red Sox for third baseman Travis Shaw and two prospects

On Day Two of the 2016 MLB Winter Meetings, the Milwaukee Brewers traded pitcher Tyler Thornburg to the Boston Red Sox for third baseman Travis Shaw and two prospects: infielder Mauricio Dubon and right-handed pitcher Josh Pennington. Here's a quick take on the two newest members of the Milwaukee farm system.

Mauricio Dubon, SS: Dubon is originally from Honduras but moved to the United States for high school and was drafted in the 26th round in 2013, from Capital Christian in Sacramento, California. His 2015 and 2016 seasons were very successful: he rang up a .288/.349/.376 line in Low-A and High-A in '15, followed by a .323/.379/.461 mark in '16 split between High-A and Double-A. He was particularly effective late in the year with a .538 SLG in 62 games for Portland.

Despite his power surge this year, Dubon isn't a big guy, listed at just 6-0, 160. A right-handed hitter, his best tool is above-average running speed; he swiped 30 bases in both '15 and '16. An efficient contact hitter, he's not a walk machine but makes contact and showed greater ability to drive the ball for distance in '16 thanks to physical maturity. He's not expected to hit a large number of home runs but should provide enough pop to the gaps to hit doubles and triples. He has enough range and arm strength to play shortstop and has looked very good during occasional trials at second base. I would rate him as a solid Grade B prospect at present.

Josh Pennington, RHP: Pennington was drafted in the 29th round in 2014 from high school in Lower Cape May, New Jersey. He made 13 starts in 2016 for Lowell in the New York-Penn League, posting a 2.86 ERA in 57 innings with a 49/27 K/BB, 36 hits allowed, and a 1.04 GO/AO.

Pennington is a 6-0, 175 pound right-hander, age 20. His draft position is deceptive, as he was coming off Tommy John surgery and could have gone 25 rounds higher if healthy. He's healthy now and hit a reported 97-98 MPH this summer. His curveball and change-up need more polish, a fact reflected in a strikeout rate that doesn't quite match his velocity, but with more innings both of his off-speed pitches could be at least average. At present he rates as a Grade C+ prospect with a chance for more as he builds his stamina back.




2016 MLB Winter Meetings: Day Two discussion

2016-12-06T13:01:07-05:00

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Here’s an open thread to discuss the 2016 MLB Winter Meetings, Day Two.

I will have the trade between the Red Sox and Brewers written up later this afternoon, and will of course write up any other trades that occur involving prospects.